Forgetfulness is the Mother of all Inventions

So they say that “Forgetfulness is the Mother of all Inventions

So last week activating VK2/IL-006, IL-003 & IL-002, you can imagine my surprise when I reached for my trusty squid pole and there was nothing in the back of the car.

Activated VK2/IL-006 on my Alex Loop (with limited success), so needed a decent antenna for the next two (aka the linked dipole). So post activation quick search in the bush (forest, woodlands whatever the local vincula) and came up with 3 sticks that I could fit in the car

So off to the next site (VK2/IL-003) and out come my sticks, walking into the activation zone and set up. Out comes the trusty duct tape and tape all of them together

And here is the results

VK2/IL-003 Mount Wanganberry

Then off to the next site and my pole looked even better this time

VK2/IL-002 Mount Wingacaribee

Never the less it worked, and realistically was a rewarding day out. I was just waiting for someone to come up and say “All the other operators have this fancy telescopic pole thingy” ,so thankfully I didn’t have to explain that I was clumsy and forgetful



After traveling so far can’t just pack up go home gotta do something.
Remember last time went to Kitt hill got five miles down road and twigged I had forgotten something. God damn squid pole so around back home i went to fetch.

Then recently went to a rare WAB spot and broke me 1/4wire in 50mph gusting winds in a exposed coast line hill, not from wind but me size 12’s. Ended up putting up squid pole at 5m instead of 8m and breaking out me 1/2w 40mb wire that,s 22m instead of 11m wire up. Still did well thou.

Bet many of you have some good story’s of such events we like to hear about.


My balun went wrong once and the live wire disconnected inside. Not knowing that I activated two peaks and I was just wondering why there were only few chasers calling me and why everybody was so weak. I did not know because I used chinese kit radio without swr meter.

Other day I forgot short coax between FT-857 and EFHW tuner. I picked up old soda can somebody thrown away, cut small piece, rolled it into a tube and used it as male-male interconnect between the two PL females.


Had a similar experience when down in Cornwall a few years back. Got to Hensbarrow Beacon G/DC-004 - not pole. I found a broom handle in the car, just don’t ask, so I took that hoping that the centre boss of the trig pillar had not been filled up with rubbish. Luck would have it that it wasn’t so I put the broom handle in the boss and rigged the dipole from there. It was secured to a bush at one end and on to the 2m beam at the other!

All worked well and I qualified the summit.



I start thinking throw out the fishing pole…

Well done guys!


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In my case it wasn’t exactly forgetfullness, but due to aircraft boarding security controls they didn’t allow me to enter the plane with my fishing pole when I flew to Portugal last year, so I had to activate with a random wire connected to the wire antenna connector of my MFJ-941B tuner, which incudes a 4:1 balun.
The wire was about 21m long and I tied the end of the wire to a thin, flexible branch of a tree, extended it almost horizontally until I got close to the tall trig point. I tied a cord from the wire to the top of the trig point to keep the wire well extended and horizontal. The the last 1.5 meters fell vertically from the point where I had tied the cord down to the ground where I had my rigs connected to the other end of the wire.
I had a very good number of chasers in my log, including one DX from the USA.
You can see it in my activation report here: Monte de Arouca CT/BL-017 by CT7/EA2IF/P on 20/04/2015

The conclusion is that a pole is not so essential for a successfull activation. All we need is a sufficiently long wire as long as the summit we are visiting has some trees where we can tie a wire to or it’s very rocky so we can even lay the wire down on the rocks or it has a good cliff from which we can throw a wire and let it hang vertically.

Best 73 de Guru

Never before told tales:

My first solo activation, I discovered at the summit that my last-moment key choice had a PL255 on the cable instead of the 1/8 plug needed for my QRP+. To save the day, I sacrificed an inexpensive headset that did have the proper plug on its cord.

The next time out, I used a checklist to be certain I’d have the correct key cord. Check. Surprisingly absent, however, was the telescoping mast that I should have taken from the garage before backing the truck out. Fortunately, the trees on site were spaced OK for my doublet.

During my military days, we called it suffering from CRS and we laughed it off. I’m so old now I can’t even remember why it was funny back then. 73

Gary, K9ZMD
Ridgefield, WA

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Check lists are the most useful thing of all, particularly with my memory. :smiley:

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If you actually remember to look at them.


I always follow the current. Start from battery and end with antenna. Tha saved me couple times already.


Hi Phil,

well done! I’m glad that you posted it and now I discovered that I also belong to the honorable Forgetfulness Club!

Back in 2012 I climbed to a new one for me and once I arrived in the summit discovered my fishpole had fall during the walk… What to do?

No trees there… I was lucky I carried my walking poles. I tied them and used all cords I had. I needed one more to hold it to the trig and… used the belt from my father in law who had joined me for the climb, as you can see:

I’m happy to confirm I qualified, and don’t know why but my father in law doesn’t want to join me anymore for activation…
The best part of the story is I found the pole on the way back!

Nowadays, since then, I use to touch my back to check the pole is there every now and then when climbing.

73 de Ignacio


Hi Ignacio!!

Your belt tying the walking poles is another smart resource !!

Best 73

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SOUND idea :sunglasses:


Your father in law was lucky.
If the belt hadn’t been enough for the job, their trousers would be the next thing to be used… :slight_smile:

Well done!

73 de Pedro